An ingrown toenail develops when the sides of the nail grow, curl and pierce into the surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail often affects the big toe, on one or both sides. The surrounding skin becomes red, swollen and tender.
It is crucial to see to a foot care specialist if the toenail is presenting symptoms of infection such as heat, throbbing pain, bleeding or letting pus out.
Diabetes could aggravate the condition of your ingrown toenail and prologue the healing process. Please get in touch with your GP or a podiatrist as soon as possible.
An ingrown toenail could develop because of:
Badly cut toenails: leaving the edges of the toenail square and sharp could lead then to grow into the skin and cause an ingrown toenail and/or an infection. Filing the edges of the nail is a good practice to prevent this from happening.
Wearing tight-fitted shoes: tight foot wear places pressure on the skin surrounding the toenail and cause it to pierce and allow the toenail to curl and grow into it.
Natural shape of the nail: some people have involuted nails (curved nails) causing them to be more disposed to develop an ingrown toenail.
Fungal nail infections: the build of thick skin under the nail causes the toenail to thicken and widen and grown into the surrounding soft skin.
An ingrown toenail could be treated by a nail surgery, performed under local anaesthetic. Depending the severity of the symptoms, a partial or total nail removal could be carried out.
Ingrown toenails can be prevented. Visit your GP or your podiatrist as soon as possible if you develop problems with your feet.